AB English Language Studies student and officer of the Becarios de Santo Tomas Vivien Inigo, and Communication Arts student Jake Almeer C. Llerin, also an officer of Communication Arts Students Association of the Faculty of Arts and Letters were among the 700 delegates from 69 countries who participated in the University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) held at Hanoi Vietnam, from August 1 to 7, 2016. This leadership conference was attended by dynamic university youth leaders from all over the world who engaged in a dialogue to discuss global humanitarian issues. This annual event, which adopted the theme “Inspiring Individuals, Transforming Communities,” was organized by the Humanitarian Affairs-UK—a London-based non-profit, non-government organization that empowers young people to become global citizens with compassion for the world’s poor. Spearheading the program of activities in this year’s leadership symposium were Humanitarian Affairs-Asia Regional Director Janice Leong, and Humanitarian Affairs Secretary-General Kim Solomon.

The highlights of the leadership symposium comprised of inspirational talks delivered by speakers who are involved in humanitarian causes such as Ms. Vivian Tan, the Senior Regional Communications Officer and Spokesperson for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) Regional Office for Southeast Asia; Mr. David Begbie, the founder of Crossroads Foundation in Hong Kong; Mr. Tim Peters, the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize Finalist and founder and director of Helping Hands Korea; Ms. Susan Hammond, the Executive Director of War Legacies Project of USA.; Ms. Shandra Woworuntu, a human trafficking survivor and member of the United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking; Ms. Lina Khalifeh, the founder of SheFighter–Jordan; Ms. Geralding Cox, country director and president of Australia–Cambodia Foundation; Prof. Angeline Yuen, Vice President of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Aside from humanitarian issues, the conference also involved the delegates to discourses about leadership such as the lecture on Servant Leadership by Prof. Angeline Yuen, the Vice-President of Hong Kong Polytechnic University; the Sustainable Development Goals of the Youth by Mr. Don Tuan Phuong, Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development Studies–Vietnam; and Leadership Skills by Associate Professor Rick J. Arrowood of the Northeastern University, USA.

The delegates also went on exposure trips through a learning journey program that included destinations such as Hoa Binh Province where delegates came to understand key sustainable developmental challenges facing the said province; Duong Lam Village where the delegates witnessed Vietnam’s rich culture through service activities and engagement with the locals; War Museum/Friendship Village where the delegates learned the history of the second Indochina War and experienced its effects and the usage of Agent Orange; Qua Cam Leprosy Hospital where delegates faced the realities of having diseases such as leprosy; and UNESCO “Education for All” Elementary School where delegates took on the responsibility of empowering children at the local elementary school.